Being Broughton: Draconid meteor shower tips

Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:21:44 AM EST   Updated On: Oct 08 2013 01:53:15 PM EDT

Did you catch any of the Draconid meteor shower? 

The two-night event peaked Monday evening. Unfortunately, overcast skies in Central Florida probably kept many from seeing the meteor action.  The good news is, you can try again Tuesday night with slightly less cloud cover.

This meteor shower can be hit and miss.  Some years it produces only 3 or 4 shooting stars hourly.  Other years, like in 2011, more than 600 per hour were reported.  So let's look to the sky and keep our fingers and toes crossed!

Here's what you need to know:

  1. The Draconids happen every October thanks to space dust left by Giacobini-Zinner, a comet that zips around the sun every 6 1/2 years.
  2. Best viewing time is just after dusk.  That's so much more convenient than those pesky meteor showers that peak in the middle of the night.  Who has time for that?
  3. The meteors originate from the constellation Draco the Dragon. However,  because the meteors shoot all different directions through the sky, you don't even need to locate Draco.
  4. Expect to see only a handful of meteors per hour. 
  5. With a waxing moon tonight, the moon won't be too bright, which is good news because it will not out-shine any meteors.
  6. Try to find a spot away from bright city lights, bring a comfortable chair, point your feet north, and look up!

And most importantly, let me know what you see on my Facebook page.


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